Switches, locks, lights: the devices you must have to be in control wherever you are
Your dream home has to be smart: that means it has remotely controlled devices, gives people keyless access, and lets you watch security from far.
“The size of the home automation market in India is around 3 billion USD, or Rs 247 billion, growing at the rate of 9 per cent annually. People have started replacing basic things like ‘tik-tok’ switches with touch panels which can be operated by phone app or voice-enabled applications such as Alexa, Google Home or Apple Home kit. Today you have all big names in digital locks such as Godrej, Yale offering keyless access to your house,” says Sandeep Singh, director of World Media & Expo (Smart Home Expo), which recently held an industry fair in Delhi.
“…you can have your home become smart for anything from Rs 20,000 to Rs 5 lakh. A door lock is available for Rs 5,000 till Rs 40,000 and likewise a touch switch panel is from Rs 10,000 to Rs 1 lakh for one room,” he says.
Home automation saves utility costs and makes life more efficient, says Chetan Mhatre, head systems business at Panasonic Electric Works India (PEWIN). “If you take the case of those staying in an average 1,500 sq ft (apartment) in a metro, the cost of retrofitting smart home solutions will not be more than Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000,” he says.
“There will be a time when the government will start putting a variable tariff: let’s say if the electricity charges for running the washing machine was Rs 5-6 per unit from 9 am till 6 pm, then it will be 3-4 Rs/unit after 6 pm. This multiple tariff is already operational in the US and will soon come to India. Home automation can help schedule your machine cycles.”
Smart home comforts
Touch electronic panels or switches integrate with domestic home automation systems. “Touch switches are relay based, the switching works on actuators and not brass contacts like in conventional switches. They may be controlled in multiple ways, via voice commands using voice assistants, touch, with remote controls or mobile applications. They can be programmed for scheduled or timer operations, these not only add a lot of convenience to the users but also help in saving energy,” says Vivek Yadav, executive vice president at Havells India.
Smart lighting and controls that use artificial intelligence (AI) can save 20-30 per cent of your power bill. A home-connected lighting system includes benefits like automated vacation-mode lighting that helps make it look like you are home when you are away, or the convenience of turning off lights with voice command when you go to bed.
Home automation works with alarm systems, doors and windows, locks, surveillance cameras, smoke detectors, and many other sensor-based types of equipment. “My CCTV security system with 4 dome cameras and 4 channel DVR with 1 TB hard disk cost me around Rs 20,000. They are worth more than their price. They are the first line of deterrence systems. It helps to have CCTV cameras at home since I have elderly parents, children and a pet dog,” says Anita Ghai, a 35 year old homemaker in Gurugram, referring to technical specifications.
Home security and surveillance systems include CCTV camera, video door phones/video door entry or a video intercom, burglar alarms, anti-theft motion sensor alarm, and magnetic door lock system. These devices are mostly wireless and easy to install. They can be accessed from anywhere using mobile, tabs, and laptops.
Bestselling home security solutions include the Godrej High Definition 1080P Full CCTV Camera KIT, CP Plus set of 4 Bullet CCTV camera with 4 Ch DVR, VelVeeta Brand New Anti Theft Burglar Pad Lock Alarm, and Carecroft Security Padlock anti theft system.
Godrej Security Solutions’ ACE Pro home security camera—it sells for a starting price of Rs 3,999–provides live feeds directly to a user’s smartphone screen. “My son has put up a home security camera so that he can check on us and our grandchildren. He says he can watch his home now from anywhere and during any time of the day,” says Avinash Bhasin, a 65-year-old pensioner in Delhi.
The bestselling smart home solutions in the Indian market offer automation for “practically every device at home”, says Havells’ Yadav. “The price range largely depends on the extent of automation but would be typically in the price range of Rs 3 lakh plus for a small villa.”
Home theatre systems are a must-have for their immersive sound and sight experience. “The audio video and home theatre solutions start from Rs 60,000 till Rs 4 lakh, depending on resolution. Post Covid, the Indian consumer has been spending a lot of time-consuming content on home theatre with the average being 2-3 hours even on a working day,” says Naman Shah, marketing head, pan-India, Viewsonic.
|Home automation devices|
|Segments||Products||Brand||Min price (In Rs)||Max Price (In Rs)|
|Lighting||LED Bulbs & Lamps||Havells||1,299||1,999|
|VRV and air conditioning||Daikin||30,000||1,50,000|
|Home Theatre||Sound bars||Sony||10,990||1,99,980|
|Audio and Video||TV||Samsung||18,900||22,99,000|
|Switches – Touch Panel||HomeMate||4,990||19,990|
|Leccy & Genesis||4,163||5,243|